I was so sure my regular Jungle Red "First Sunday of the Month" would fall on Easter that I jumped the gun and wrote this piece about Easter bonnets. Then realized my mistake.
But then I saw this darling picture our friend Lesa Holstine posted at Facebook. She looked so elegant wearing this hat I realized, we really don't have to wait till Easter to wear (or chat about) hats!
|Lesa Holstine and Beth Hoffman|
My thanks to Lesa for the inspiration and for letting me use this great picture. (Hugs, sweetie!)
I have always had a fascination with hats.
I grew up having this love affair with hats. It may have something to do with family. Apparently, the Wilkinson women liked hats - as shown here by my Great Aunt Sadie, and my paternal grandmother, Laura Street Wilkinson.
It may be due to this "Wilkinson Hat Gene" that I discovered them at a very young age
Easter was always one of my favorite holidays - for all the wrong reasons, I'm afraid. To me, it was all about the hat.
Shopping for hats with my mom was a tradition we both loved. I still love shopping with my mom, but we don't do as much hat shopping as we once did. Actually, the last time we shopped together for a hat was this one - The one I wore when Donald and I were married on May 11, 1986.
Although - I must admit, that urge to try on a hat is one I don't think I'll ever get over
If any of you are lovers of hats and also happen to be a lover of books (I know there are a few of us) - here's a treasure you will love, if you haven't already heard of it.
It's called "Crowns: Portraits of Black Women in Church Hats" by Michael Cunningham and Craig Marberry.
Marberry had this to say, "I think it's because it's rooted in the African tradition that says that when one presents oneself before God… that you should be at your best –- that you should present excellence before the Almighty." And that tradition of adorning the head for worship is a very African tradition."
"Crowns" is a stunning book. And it's much more. It delves quite deeply into a history that we must never ever allow be forgotten. or allow to ever happen again. Whenever I, for example, pranced into the lovely and grand Downtown Rich's Department Store in Atlanta to buy myself a new hat whenever I wanted, never once did I give a thought to the fact that there had been a time when a black woman could not do this. This simple act that gave me such joy. Other women were unable to do. In that regard, "Crowns" becomes a history book. But one written in the words of women who are able to find humor in their situation regarding hats. Nancy Carpenter tells us about a department store in North Carolina where she wasn't allowed to shop. After some years passed, and Mrs. Carpenter became the owner of many hats, some quite spectacular, she was able to realize that the store's hats really weren't so special - it was the fact that she couldn't own one that, of course, caused her to want to own at least one of them that much more. Fact of the matter was though - the hats Mrs. Carpenter ended up owning, she says, were more beautiful than anything that store ever carried. And, she ended up owning more than they more than likely ever carried.
How about you, Reds, any hat lovers out there?!